Goudprijs hoger, maar winstmogelijkheden lijken beperkt........
* Optimism related to stimulus measures dwindles
* Further correction in gold likely
* Gold-oil correlation near six-month high
* Coming Up: Euro zone business climate; 0900 GMT
Gold edged up on Thursday
from a two-week low hit in the previous session, but continued
worries over the euro zone debt crisis that has lifted the
dollar and weakened oil is expected to cap bullion's gains.
Investor worries about euro zone's ability to contain the debt crisis, now in its third year, heightened as anti-austerity protests in Greece and Spain, the two most vulnerable countries in the bloc, turned violent.
"The excitement over the last few weeks in metals has come to an end as economic performance and weak oil prices depress market sentiment," said a Singapore-based trader.
Spot gold rose about 10 percent in the last five weeks to a near 7-month high on stimulus measures by central banks. But prices have come off this week, dropping to a two-week low of $1,737.50 on Wednesday.
By 0525 GMT, gold edged up 0.3 percent $1,756.99 an ounce. U.S. gold had inched up 0.3 percent to $1,759.60.
The metal may see a further correction as the greenback stays firm amid euro zone concerns, traders said. A strong dollar weighs on commodities priced in the greenback by making them more expensive for buyers holding other currencies.
"We may see gold further fall to $1,700 to $1,720 level, but the correction won't be too dramatic due to the safe-haven nature of gold," the Singapore-based trader said.
Sluggish oil prices also dented interest in gold. High oil prices are usually associated with rising inflation, which tends to add to the appeal of gold as a hedge against rising prices.
The correlation between the two stood at 0.367, just a hair below a six-month high hit earlier in the week. A reading of 1 indicates perfect correlation in which the two assets move in the same direction.
SPDR Gold Trust, the world's largest gold-backed exchange-traded fund, suffered its biggest one-day drop in holdings since May, as the amount of gold it held dropped over 10 tonnes from a record high of 1,331.331 tonnes to 1,320.777 tonnes by Sept. 26.
"The drop in holdings may have something to do with window-dressing of funds at the end of the quarter," said Lynette Tan, an analyst at Phillip Futures in Singapore.
"But gold will continue to be supported as the U.S. 'fiscal cliff' comes around at the end of the year."
The fiscal cliff refers to Washington's deadline to agree on a plan to shrink the federal budget or trigger $600 billion in spending cuts and higher taxes that were put in place last summer, a potentially heavy blow to the already frail economy.
Other metals in the complex all held steady in early Asian trade, with this week's worse performer palladium rebounding to $627 from a 3-1/2-week low of $613.50 hit in the previous session.
Spot platinum was up 0.1 percent to $1,630.
An illegal strike spread through AngloGold Ashanti's South African operations on Wednesday, while Anglo American Platinum said it could start firing unlawful strikers on Thursday, as the country's miners grapple to rein in weeks of labour unrest.
By Rujun Shen